I'm in the middle of a walk. Care to join me? We're walking down a path called memory lane. I was pushed into the path by a sudden impulse my husband had to clean out the garage. In his great cleaning plan, the 7 giant tubs of photo albums and memorabilia did not have a place, so onto the path I was shoved, to clean out and discard 32 years of memories.
I started by scanning in the photos from the yellowed and sticky pages that captured my school days. (I've made it through high school, and the scanning only took 7 hours!) That was pretty painless, and as I'm throwing away the pictures, I'm telling myself that it's better for them to be digital, where I can access them whenever I want, than to be stuffed in tubs in the attic, never to be seen. I will not feel guilty for throwing away pictures. I will not feel guilty for throwing away pictures.
Now I'm looking at scrapbooks of things that mattered back then as a young girl. My daily Bible Reading Plan from 1992, with every day checked off. The tags from my favorite leather jacket. Autographed pictures of Bob McGrath from Sesame Street and Kirk Cameron, my heart throb. I found a poster of him in the box and hung it in the office. My heart still beats a little faster when I look at it. My husband did a double take, and it sort of disturbed my kids. My friends are jealous though! Ok, I'm taking it down, but I think I'll still keep it.
Some of the stuff I kept is just silly. I have stickers, like with a ghost saying "boo," stuck to post cards with the names of who they were from. A bag that held the rubber bands from my braces. Random programs and concert ticket stubs. All my report cards. Old Valentines that I titled, "Bribe Stuff." Ha ha ha. And a picture of me in 1985 when I was in the "no cavity club." I can't say that anymore. I can part easily with most of that.
I am only scratching the surface though. I have an entire tub full of journals I've filled, stories I've written, and letters given to me. What to do with this? Will I ever read them again? Probably not. Maybe if I'm famous someone might read one or two after I'm dead. It seems silly to hang onto them for someone to read when I'm dead. My kids might venture to read a little, but an entire tub worth of thoughts that scrambled in their mom's mind? Not likely. These, however, are harder to part with than old Valentines. In fact, they might go back into the tub, and I'll find space for them in the garage somewhere.
You know what I can say goodbye to? All the letters from friends that I've saved all of these years. I've kept some letters from Lee, but the rest? They're outta here. (Deep Breath). Gone!
So, my momentos have been reduced to just one tub.
It feels pretty amazing.
It's sort of what my blog's all about anyway. Reading Ahead.